Friday, August 31, 2012

Hurry! It's the End of Cherry Season

Happy Friday! You made it through the week! Are you ready for a cocktail?
I am a huge fan of cocktails and experimenting and creating. I love going to bars with creative mixologists. So I want to share that love with you with the following link and story.

I have been crazy about Manhattans and whiskey lately. I think it's because my grandmother is very sick and things are not looking well. Her and my grandfather love Manhattans, as many of their generation do, it's one of those classic cocktails. And I like the feelings of being less than the 3000 miles away from them that I am by enjoying one.

But plain maraschino cherries are boring. They are lazy, like a premixed mixer for your margarita. Full of unhealthy dyes and preservatives. (I am not a full on health nut, don't worry that I will nag you about that constantly, but I try to eat fairly healthy. Damn egg Mcmuffins...) Anyway this recipe is so easy, better for you and tastes so much better in your Manhattan. Why ruin a Manhattan made with good whiskey with crappy cherries?

Since I made my blog late in the summer you are gonna have to hurry for this one. Cherry season is almost over and it's an irresistible thing to make when cherries are $1/lb. They even make nice gifts!

Here's the link to the recipe. Brandied Cocktail Cherries
I like yummly's recipe more than some others because you get a great finished product with less ingredients. I use a small hand pitting gadget that I picked up at Walmart to pit the cherries before making the recipe. It makes it much more pleasant when you want to pop a handful of these suckers in your mouth. (You will, don't deny it.)

The other great thing is that like non-vacuum canned items it can be enjoyed a couple days after making it.

So here's a picture of my final product about to be enjoyed.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pirate Geek!

Argh! Mateys!

This weekend is my birthday. It was hard picking an event. I finally settled on mini golf and Rocky Horror, with a round of Cards Against Humanity thrown in the middle.

That being said, my other pick was going to be this, The Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Irvine, performing the score to Pirates of the Carribean on September 1st. Bring some friend and a picnic basket and go grab a ticket! (Then tell me all about it!),5,6,6&productionID=8861

But before you do, I would recommend trying or because I think they had some cheap tickets to score, if you like that sort of thing. (What person doesn't like a discount?)

We recently used Goldstar to get tickets to Spamalot and we will be doing it again soon for tickets to Comikaze!!!

Also, if you haven't watched this, watch it! I think it's gonna be a great webseries, even if the Buffy is pretty mediocre.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pumpkin Love

So your craft inspiration for Wednesday is using a pattern for a regular baby sweater and turning it into cute fall pumpkin sweaters. It's a super simple change that will help you create some adorable sweaters. I apologize for the horrendous lighting quality of the picture, but at least you will get the idea.

This is the modified text from Titled "Striped Hoodie" The Original picture can be viewed on the site.
SIZES: 3 (6-12-18) mos
Chest measurement: 16 (17-18-20) ins [40.5 (43-45.5-51) cm].
Finished chest: 19 (20-22-24) ins [48 (51-56-61) cm].
Bernat® Softee Baby (Solids: 140 g / 5 oz)
3 balls Tangerine (Sweater)
1 ball Fresh Green (Stem)
Sizes 3.5 mm (U.S. 4) and 4 mm (U.S. 6) knitting needles or size needed to obtain gauge. 3 st holders.
22 sts and 30 rows = 4 ins [10 cm] with larger needles in stocking st.
The instructions are written for smallest size. If changes are necessary for larger sizes the instructions will be written thus ( ).
BACK: **With smaller needles and MC, cast on 50 (54- 58-66) sts.
Work 8 rows of (K2. P2) ribbing, inc 2 (0-2-0) sts evenly across last row. 52 (54-60-66) sts.
Change to larger needles and proceed in stocking st** until 11 (12½-13-14) ins [28 (32-33-35.5) cm] total length, ending with a purl row.
Shoulders: Cast off 9 (10-13-16) sts beg next 2 rows.
Leave rem 34 sts on a st holder.
FRONT: Work from ** to ** as given for Back until 8 (9- 9-10) ins [20.5 (23-23-25.5) cm] total length, ending with a purl row.
Divide for Front opening: 1st row: (RS). K26 (27- 30-33). Turn. Leave rem sts on a spare needle.
2nd row: K2. Purl to end of row.
3rd row: Knit.
Rep last 2 rows until Front measures same length as Back to shoulder, ending with a purl row. Cast off 9 (10- 13-16) sts. Leave rem 17 sts on a st holder.
With RS facing, join MC to sts on a spare needle and work to correspond to right side, reversing position of front garter edge.
SLEEVES: With smaller needles and MC, cast on 34 (34-38-38) sts.
Work 8 rows in (K2. P2) ribbing.
Change to larger needles and proceed in stocking st, inc 1 st each end of needle on 3rd row and every following alt row to 50 (52-48-48) sts, then every following 4th row to 52 (56-60-62) sts. Cont even for 4½ (-6½-7) ins [11.5 (14-16.5-18) cm] total length, ending with a purl row. Cast off.
Pin garment pieces to measurements. Cover with a damp cloth, leaving cloth to dry.

Hood: Sew shoulder seams. With RS facing, B and larger needles, knit sts from all 3 st holders, inc 20 sts evenly across. 88 sts. Knit to 7½ (- 9½-) ins [19 (21.5-24-24) cm], ending with WS row.
Cast off. Fold hood in half. Sew top seam.
Place markers 4¾ (5-5¼-) ins [12 (12.5-13-14) cm] on Front and Back down from shoulders. Sew in sleeves between markers. Sew side and sleeve seams.

Once the sweater portion is finished, chain a circle of sc stitches of the color Fresh Green into the peak of the hood. (Around 20 should do. Connect with a slip stitch.
Crochet 2 rounds in sc.
Decrease by half and continue for 4 more rounds.
Decrease by half again, then bind off. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reading Rundown- Kindle Tips

I am a voracious reader. And now with the kindle it has gotten even more out of hand. It is less obvious because most books I purchase are digital now, but I regularly clean out my kindle selections using or else it would take over my life.

I highly recommend using this program if you want to be able to find things on your kindle,  take things off your kindle (like the stupid lending notices), convert books to different formats, and other useful services amazon doesn't provide.

And if you don't have a lot of money to spend on books I recommend the following sites for great cheap/free reads that aren't your standard books past copywright.

What am I reading?
I usually have a different book going on every platform. Why? Because I can.
My Phone: The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales (fun horror short stories)

My Kindle: My Clockwork Muse (A fictional book about Poe getting caught up in a series of murders.)

In the Tub: Wildwood Dancing (Juliet Marillier's take on the 12 Dancing Princesses. One of my favorite authors.)

Comfort Reread: Thursday Next: Lost in a Good Book (No reader should miss this series. The funniest and wittiest writer that I have ever come across.)

On the Couch: IT by Stephen King. (I regret not getting this in kindle format since it is over 1000 pages and quite heavy. But it was $1.00 at the used bookstore, I couldn't resist.)

On My Work Computer: Help! Wanted: Tales of on the Job Terror (Brilliant horror short stories with an appropriate theme.) I like reading short stories when on the go or at work, because picking up and putting down a book infrequently makes me want to go back and reread a few pages.

Listening in the Car on the Way to Work: Ravens of Avalon (I like really fun, dramatic books that keep me awake. Jane Austen would not be the best choice for stuck in traffic. Can you imagine?) I am super excited because Aloha from Hell should be arriving this week to listen to.

Do yourself a favor, do not read the Sandman Slim series, listen to them. Amazing voice actor work.

See you tomorrow on crafting day!

The Villain's Plan Laid Out for You

Truthfully, now that I have actually started the blog I need to establish what you should expect. I will try to update daily, and each day you can expect a certain type of post. That way if there is something that doesn't interest you then you needn't bother to check that day, you'll know which days to check.

Mondays will be the day I post new recipes. Some will be my own tried and true, some will be others that I love dearly.

Tuesdays will be the day for book discussions. My friends and I have a book club called B3. (Books, boobs and beers!) And I will try to incorporate some of things we discuss if you are interested in following along long distance.

Wednesday is crafts day. Because- why not? I will post pictures and try to post links to different patterns, some I have tried, some I have not. Some are my own adventures that I will try to explain so you can make them too If you try them and want to send in pictures, I would love to post and share with others.

Thursday is nerd news and geekery. Part of why I am making this blog is because I am an uber nerd and love having uber nerd adventures. I will only post what I think is the most relevant stories and events for the week. If you are a Los Angelino I will be posting links to interesting events around the area you might want to check out.

Friday will be cocktail recipes and ideas. I love making up cocktails, learning new ones, and experimenting with various results.

Weekends will be free of posts. (We all have lives!) Unless there is urgent news I need to share. (Finnick was already cast, so we can check that one off.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Crafting Time

Okay, I have not tried this yet, but I really want to make some of these bracelets. They are absolutely gorgeous. I need to grab a large crochet hook to try it on, I already have plenty of cotton yarn I need to use up. Anyone want to do a crotchet-along and see how each compares? Let me know!

Garlic Shepherd's Pie

Garlic Shepherd's Pie
Bare with me as I am not the best at describing recipe ingredient amounts. (Something I will be learning a.s I go! I am an intuition cook when I am not going by recipes.)

Potato Topping
8-10 red potatoes
1/4 c milk (I like 1%, feel free to use what you like.)
1 tsp granulated garlic
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
2 tbsp sour cream (or to taste, I use fat free)
salt and pepper
1/2 c mozzarella.

1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey)
1- to 1 1/.2 c mixed veggies 
1 diced onion
1 bulb minced garlic (I am the garlic girl)
1 can tomato paste (use 2 if you like it more tomatoey)
1 bottle good beer (I used Fat Fire. Ale or Stout, your preference.)
3 tbsp worchester sauce (use less if you don't care for it as much as I do.)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp thyme

1.) Turn oven on to 375.
2.) Heat a large pot of water on the stove to boiling,. After scrubbing the potatoes boil for 25-30 minutes (until soft.) Drain into a big bowl and add milk, granulated garlic, parmesan, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash away then set aside.
3.) While potatoes are boiling brown the ground beef  with the diced onions and minced garlic until onion is soft. Add in the veggies, beer, tomato paste, worchester, vinegar and thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes until the beer has reduced.
4.) Put your filling in a 9x9 pan (or a 9 inch round casserole dish)
5.) Spread the mashed potato mixture on top of the filling. Sprinkle your mozzarella cheese on top.
6.) Put in oven for 25-30 minutes (or until the top of the potatoes peaks have begun to brown.)
7.) Let sit for 5 minutes, then enjoy.


Welcome to the lair of the Geeky Garlic Girl! I am a huge geek who is in love with garlic, hosting parties and crafting. I hope you enjoy my links, recipes, and crafting ideas!